Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
The art style is refreshing, the characters stay true and are believeable, it has some genuinely sad moments; the protagonist IS a badass guy with a dark past but he's never characterized as unbeatable, and frankly he ends up losing almost as many fights as he wins. It's a sci-fi action show set in the equivalent of early 20th century Germany, and the sci-fi elements (alchemy) are more science than fantasy and have rules and restrictions they abide by. Oh, and did I mention the story's really good?
Just make sure you watch Brotherhood and not the original series, it actually follows the plot of the manga and is better overall.

The truth is that I like certain things about the first anime and certain other things about the second anime. In the first anime, I felt that the story and characters were more interesting, while the action left something to be desired. In Brotherhood, there was a lot more action and some great animation as well as some cool new characters, but the manga-faithful storyline also brought with it some awful characters and a story which, to me, was somewhat less interesting. The final fight consisted only of "let's blindly throw everything we have at him and hope he gets tired."

Sadly, the worst aspects of Fullmetal Alchemist are shared by both versions:
- Alphonse is whiny and annoying, and hardly ever contributes to a fight despite the fact that he could fucking kill almost anything.
- The use of alchemy, despite all of its potential, is horribly uninteresting and unoriginal. There were some interesting moves in the first anime, like fucking up the structure of Greed's carbon shield and turning Sloth into ethanol, but most of the "alchemy" in both series could be better described as telekinesis (e.g., moving the earth to create a wall, etc.). That's fucking boring.
- Anime clich├ęs and visual gags.